Burg Simpson’s experienced mass tort attorneys are investigating claims for injuries related to the implantation of hernia mesh in hernia repair procedures. When serious complications occur, patients may require additional surgery to remove the hernia mesh.
Hernia mesh is a medical device used to repair hernias, and it is sometimes referred to as a hernia screen or hernia patch. Surgeons do not use mesh in every hernia repair surgery, but when used, the mesh is intended to prevent or reduce the risk of recurrence of a hernia. Because hernia repair surgery is a very common procedure, hundreds of thousands of patients are implanted with hernia mesh every year.
Hernia mesh is made of synthetic or biologic materials, or a combination of the two, and often includes a coating made from fatty acids or similar materials that act as a barrier to separate the mesh material from tissue and organs.
If you or a loved one have been injured by defective hernia mesh, contact the product liability lawyers at Burg Simpson today by calling (720) 500-5854 or filling out our FREE case evaluation form.
Complications from Defective Hernia Mesh
Defective hernia mesh may cause complications stemming from failure of the mesh device to properly perform inside the human body. Complications can result in medical issues, including:
- Severe pain in the abdomen, groin, testes, or upper thigh
- Bowel obstruction
- Organ obstruction or perforation
- Adhesions, or bands of scar tissue between abdominal organs and other tissue
- Fistula, or formation of a tunnel between the intestinal tract or stomach and other tissue
- Severe infection or abscess
- Need for additional surgery to remove mesh or treat complications
What Is a Hernia?
Hernia develop when pressure pushes an organ or tissue through weakened or torn areas of muscle or connective tissue. Causes of the pressure can include obesity, physical exertion or heavy lifting, diarrhea or constipation, coughing, and sneezing. In addition, people who smoke, who have poor nutrition, and who have had surgery previously may be at a greater risk of developing a hernia.
Hernias commonly occur in the abdominal wall but can also occur in other areas of the body, including the groin area in both men and women. Common types of hernia include:
- Inguinal hernia: Occurs in the groin area, common in men
- Femoral hernia: Occurs in the groin area or upper thigh, common in women
- Incisional hernia: Emerges through an incision from prior surgery
- Ventral hernia: Occurs in the abdominal/ventral wall
- Umbilical hernia: Occurs at the belly button
- Hiatal hernia: Occurs in the abdomen, along the upper stomach or diaphragm
Treatment Options for Hernias
Hernias can be treated with surgical and non-surgical options. Surgery is not always required if a hernia is not causing complications or symptoms. Depending on the severity of the hernia, some doctors recommend observation instead of surgery if the hernia does not cause a significant amount of pain, does not grow, and doesn’t cause other complications.
If surgery is performed, the surgery may be either laparoscopic or an open surgery. Laparoscopic procedures are performed by making several small incisions through which surgical instruments are inserted to perform the hernia repair. Open surgery involves a larger incision. Both laparoscopic and open hernia repair surgeries can be performed with or without the use of hernia mesh.
What Is Surgical Hernia Mesh?
Hernia mesh is a surgical patch used to provide additional support or reinforcement to the weakened or damaged tissue. Surgical mesh can be made of either synthetic materials or animal tissue. Man-made hernia mesh is typically made from polypropylene. Synthetic mesh may be either uncoated or coated with materials, such as fatty acids or other polymers, that are intended to prevent the mesh from adhering to tissues or organs in the body.
Dangers of Hernia Mesh
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors the safety of all medical devices sold in the country by reviewing reports or adverse events that it receives from the medical community, patients, device manufacturers, and other sources. The FDA tracks adverse event report information regarding hernia mesh devices.
On April 7, 2016, the FDA published an informational article on its website, titled “Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants.” It cautioned the public about complications that could arise from the use of hernia mesh in repair procedures, including “pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesion, and bowel obstruction.” The FDA also explained hernia mesh could cause other complications resulting from “mesh migration and mesh shrinkage (contraction).”
On May 25, 2016, Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, recalled its Physiomesh® flexible composite mesh and issued and Urgent Field Safety Notice, which advised the medical community that the product would no longer be sold due to the higher-than-expected rate of reoperation and hernia recurrence.
There are numerous hernia mesh products that are available for surgeons to use in repair procedures. Complications have been reported for hernia mesh products produced by a number of manufacturers, including:
- Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson
Contact Burg Simpson for Help with Your Hernia Mesh Case
Because hernia repair is one of the most common medical procedures in the U.S., complications may arise. The experienced product liability attorneys at Burg Simpson have decades of experiencing litigating a wide variety of dangerous medical device cases. If you or a loved one have suffered complications from defective hernia mesh, contact us today by calling (720) 500-5854 or filling out our FREE case evaluation form for a no-obligation consultation.